Los Angeles lose their first game at home — in Champions League play.
By Jonathan Vera | goal.com
Jul 28, 2010
CARSON, Calif. — The Galaxy opened up their Concacaf Champions League run at the Home Depot Center taking on the Puerto Rico Islanders in the first leg of a qualification round in what turned out to be a one-sided affair as the Puerto Rico Islanders topped LA 4-1.
The white shirts had more ball possession than the orange-clad visitors, but the roadies remained stoic and punished the American club with an array of goals. David Foley, and Nicolas Addlery gave Los Sepultureros (gravediggers) the lead in the first and Josh Hansen and Addlery again knocked in the insurance goals in the second. LA was awarded an own-goal late in the second, but was a little too late to make for a competitive game.
The Islanders were established in 2003 and were third overall in the standing in last season’s USSF Division 2 Professional League finishing off their playoff run in the semis. Currently, their roster consists of eight internationals spanning throughout the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic), five of which started today.
The first 20 minutes was all Galaxy as they maintained possession for the majority of that time. Los Islenos started the match with a 4-4-2 formation, but the aggressiveness of Galaxy forced them to draw back to a 4-5-1 — temporarily. Puerto Rico waited for an opportunity and in the 26th minute Lady Luck favored them with a kiss.
On 25 minutes and change, LA surrendered a corner kick to the Islanders. The cross was sent and defender David Horst headed it on target. Keeper Josh Saunders got a hand on it, but was unable to control it and sent the re. The ball trickled in front of forward David Foley who smashed it home for goal. The color orange surprised LA for the games opening goal.
LA was now chasing, so coach Bruce Arena changed tactics and substituted a defender, A.J. DeLaGarza, for midfielder Michael Stephens and dropped back Sean Franklin. But alas, the tactic failed to put anything on the board. The only side that benefited from this tactic were the visitors, as they put another one in the net on a counter.
Just befor the half, the Isles were on the attack. Defender Scott Jones dribbled in from the left wing and crossed into the area to forward and Jamaican international Nicolas Addlery took it off the volley right to Saunders and pinballed into the net. The Puerto Ricans put LA in a very uncomfortable two-goal deficit.
The start of the second half was no different from the first as the hits just kept on coming as Puerto Rico added another one to their lead.
Early in the half, former Galaxy midfielder Josh Hansen was way out in the 30 yard line working his away around the defense. No one expected him to take the shot, especially Saunders. Hansen sent a shot from downtown, ringing it off the right post and in for goal.
Though the Galaxy again had long runs of possession, it was Colin Clarke’s men who scored again. In the 80th minute Addlery intercepted a pass in the Galaxy zone and drove it in for a goal giving the Orange Troops a commanding 4-love lead. But LA answered back — in a way.
In the 83rd minute LA was on a desperate attack with Edson Buddle in the area. He took the ball into the six off a give and go. Buddle took a shot that caromed off defender Richard Martinez into the net for an own-goal.
In the minutes the followed, LA kicked it up a notch and began playing more aggressively and at times seemed desperate on the pitch. Regardless of what they did, it was to no avail. LA was outplayed, and outgunned; they had brought a knife to a gun fight.
The Galaxy will travel to the Caribbean Isle next Wednesday for the second leg of the match up trailing by three goals on aggregate.